How Do You Protect Your Data In A Hybrid Cloud Computing Environment?

Data security is a big concern for people that have moved to hybrid cloud computing environment, and for a good reason. In hybrid cloud environment, information is basically under the management of the cloud service providers at different points of its cycle. This means that a business entity has to put in place the right protections or securities and data backups when the information is still in motion, being processed and at its rest. It also has to make sure that the chosen public cloud service providers have put in the suitable protections as well.

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Why has data security and protection become such a big issue?

Business entities today are resorting to using hybrid cloud computing models than ever before. According to a study that was carried out late last year, around 50% of medium to large organizations are expected to be using this hybrid cloud computing platforms by the end of 2017.The most popular utilization cases for these platforms are e-commerce and Web applications that need elastic scalability, batch processing, disaster recovery, archiving, backup, development and testing, and many more.

As a result, data security and protection for all these computing options has become such a big problem for the players within and outside the industry. And according to a survey that was done in the late 2013, data protection is number one inhibitor to cloud computing deployment. In this regard, around 50% of the respondents in this survey quoted data protection as the number one risk when it comes to cloud computing.

While the players in the industry can’t simply ignore the many benefits that are brought about by cloud computing, they also can’t disregard addressing the security and protection challenges of cloud computing deployment. So what should they do, you may ask. Read on to find out.

Here are some crucial methods in which you can lessen data security concerns in hybrid cloud computing.

1. Start by understanding the areas in which the business entity is vulnerable

Having understood where your business is vulnerable, it is only in order to set up solutions that properly address the concerns. This is particularly so when it comes to protecting the data when it is travelling between different cloud computing environments. Different software applications and hardware can be used to protect data as it travels between the public cloud environment and your business entity.

A system that provides in-line proxy solutions, for instance Intel Expressway Tokenization Broker, can be installed to work as a secure link between the enterprise systems and the public cloud computing service providers. The software application used on this system protects the data and traffic going in and out of the cloud platforms as an APIs (service application programming interfaces) and the providers.

The bundled software in this system make use of format-preserving encryption, message-level security I or tokenization to API and online message services that are traveling through business entity’s systems to the cloud provider’s platforms.

2. Ask the right questions when choosing a public cloud computing provider to work with

Selecting the right cloud services provider to work with is something of a paramount importance. In this regard, inquire specifically about the types of data protection features they deploy and how they handle aspects such as data backup, replication and disaster recovery. Advanced technologies that can help enhance security include the use of private virtual Local Area Networks (LANs) as they have the capability to isolate virtual machines, separate networks and server administrative duties. Also remember to ask about the types of technologies they use in their data centers. Also have them to provide you with copies of their security policies. If their security protections or policies are less stringent than yours, then you may have a big issue there.

3. Centralize control and governance of cloud operations within the IT department

Centralizing control and governance in a cloud computing environment allows the department to properly manage security policies and thus ensuring compliance while at it. This is by opting for the right procedures and technologies for archiving, recovery and data backup. You really do not need one of your managers to put everything at risk by not putting in place the right procedures or doing a proper research when choosing a public hybrid cloud computing partner. A well run IT department ensures that data compliance policies and protection features are consistently managed across the overall cloud computing environment.

4. Make use of data protection optimized solutions

Select a computing architecture that offers secure virtualization and data protection capabilities though hardware and software assisted security features, for instance Intel Advanced Encryption Standard New Instructions (Intel AES-NI), Intel Trusted Execution Technology, and a few others. These all provide performance and efficiency benefits that make encryption more effective for data storage workloads and transportation. This is something of a great importance in hybrid cloud computing environments.

All in all, it pays huge dividends to make sure that the devices and servers being used by your chosen hybrid cloud service have integrated the latest built-in data protection and security capabilities. Also it is good to note that it is the duty of everyone concerned to make sure that the right data protection mechanisms have been put in place to protect information when and after it has been processed.